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Erdem Tepegöz’s Zerre wins top prize at Moscow film festival

Turkish director Erdem Tepegöz’s social drama The Particle (Zerre) has won the Golden George for Best Film at the 35th Moscow International Film Festival (MIFF).

The film’s lead actress, Jale Arikan, also picked up the Best Actress Silver George for her performance as Zeynep, trying to make ends meet in the dusty and dim atmosphere of abandoned apartments evacuated for clearance.

The International Jury under the presidency of Iranian film-maker Mohsen Makhmalbaf awarded the Silver George for Best Director to South Korea’s Jung Young-Heon for Lebanon Emotion (Le-Ba-Non Kam-Jeong).

The Best Actor prize went to Russia’s Alexey Shevchenkov for his title role as Judas in Andrey Bogatyryov’s Judas (Iuda).

The Special Jury award went to The Ravine Of Goodbye (Sayonara Keikoku) by Japan’s Tatsushi Omori.

The Documentary Competition jury - which included Claas Danielsen, director of DOK Leipzig - gave its award to Poland’s Pawel Lozinski for Father And Son (Ojciec I Syn). The film is a “cinematic-psychological experiment” about the relationship with his father, veteran film-maker Marcel Lozinski.

The Short Film Competition was won by Russia’s Rustam Ilyasov for Elfen Castle (Zamok Elfov).

The ceremony, held before closing film Rasputin, also saw a special prize awarded for “the outstanding achievement in the career of acting and devotion to the principles of K. Stanislavksy’s school”.

It was presented to Russian actress Xenia Rappoport, known to international festival audiences from such films as Yuri’s Day and Two Days.

Dutch film-maker Diederik Ebbinge’s Matterhorn also continued its triumphant festival career in Moscow by garnering three awards: the festival’s Audience Award, the Grand Prix from the Russian Guild of Film Critics, and the Best Film Award from the Russian Film Club Federation.

Costa-Gavras’ “outstanding contribution”

The festival honoured the achievements of Greek-French director Costa-Gavras with a Special Prize for an Outstanding Contribution to the World Cinema.

The subject of a mini-retrospective at the festival, the 80-year-old film-maker presented his latest film Capital (Le Capital), set in the world of international banking.

The director delivered renewed proof of his campaigning spirit by joining fellow European film-makers such as Romania’s Radu Mihaileanu and France’s Michel Hazanavicius by signing an open letter to European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia on the proposed Cinema Communication.

Along with his co-signatories, Costa-Gavras argued that the present draft of the Communication could endanger the very fabric of European film industry and jeopardise millions of jobs throughout the creative and cultural industries.

Depardieu in town

French actor Gérard Depardieu attended the closing night screening of Irakli Kvirikadze’s new version of Rasputin after a busy week in Moscow, which saw him wrap filming of the action film Turquoise with a night shoot at the capital’s Gorky Park last Monday (June 24).

Producer-director Philippe Martinez’s film, which also features UK actress Elizabeth Hurley, had previously been shooting at locations in the Chechen capital of Grozny.

Russian news agency TASS reported that had Depardieu statied: “The French have betrayed me. I consider myself to be Russian or Russian-French at least” and revealed that he wanted to dedicate his work in Rasputin to Nikolai Borodachyov, the head of the State Film Fund of Russia.

Munich Film Festival

As Moscow was winding down, the 31st Filmfest München - the second edition under Diana Iljine - kicked off with the world premiere of Oscar-winning film-maker Caroline Link’s new feature Exit Marrakech, with stars Ulrich Tukur Hafsia Herzi and Samuel Schneider in attendance on June 28.

Iljine and her team of programmers have invited 174 films from 48 countries, including new films by Fernando Trueba, Mira Nair, Costa-Gavras, Alex Gibney, Mike Figgis and Nicolas Winding Refn, who will all travel to Munich to present their films in person.

The Filmfest will also have two retrospectives dedicated to film-makers Paolo Sorrentino and Alejandro Jodorowsky; the presentation of the CineMerit Award to Sir Michael Caine before the screening of Sandra Nettelbeck’s Mr Morgan’s Love; and a special screening of the 1993 filmKaspar Hauser in memory of the director-screenwriter-producer Peter Sehr who died aged 61 after a brief illness at the beginning of May.

World premieres

Several world premieres of new German films will be screened, ranging from Lola Randl’s The Invention Of Love (Die Erfindung der Liebe) and David Dietl’s debut King Ordinary (König von Deutschland).

Others include Robert Thalheim’s Parents (Eltern), Nana Neul’s Silent Sommer (Stiller Sommer) and idiosyncratic German comedian Helge Schneider’s latest genre parody, 00 Schneider.

Industry

The Filmfest is a venue for numerous industry roundtables, seminars and announcements, including Senator Film’s plan to launch Edition Senator, a new label dedicated exclusively to releasing local German productions.

The new outfit will be headed up by Anatol Nitschke, who has been managing the production company deutschfilm as a joint venture with Senator since 2009.

Between four to seven titles will be released each year by the new label, which is reportedly expected to handle the next films by Dominik Graf, Ralf Huettner, Lars Büche and Christian Zübert.

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